Using the strategy of Claim, Evidence, Reasoning can help your students think like scientists. Claim, evidence, reasoning, also known as CER is a great strategy to teach students to make and support their conclusion on evidence.
Part of successfully instilling science and engineering practices into students is helping them to understand that the conclusions they come to at the end of a scientific experiment or an engineering design solution must be based not on wishes, but on objective evidence.
This is where claim-evidence-reasoning (CER) comes in, a model in which students offer claims about their hypothesis or prototype, using the evidence available from their experiment or design solution.
Using Claim Evidence Reasoning in Science Instruction
Students need to be able to ask questions as a scientist would or solve problems as an engineer would. As students engage in the science and engineering practices, they are actively creating, analyzing, and evaluating. It is also important that students develop a structure of learning in which they engage in the science and engineering practices. This structure is needed so that students can logically move from a question or problem to an evidence-based conclusion. This structure comes in the form of scientific and engineering practices, the same way that scientists and engineers use practices to guide them.
The claim-evidence-reasoning comes in when students are asked to form a conclusion.This conclusion should be based on evidence such as lab work, research, readings and more.
A claim that answers a question
Evidence from students’ data
Reasoning that supports a scientific principle with examples as evidence
Science and Engineering Practices and CER
There are two science and engineering practices that align well with the strategy of CER. Engaging in argument from evidence and obtaining, evaluating and communicating information are perfectly aligned with Claim-Evidence-Reasoning as a strategy.
The claim-evidence-reasoning model provides students with an objective, scientific structure to support them in developing their conclusion. It helps students align their conclusions to the purpose of the investigation, using their evidence to create reasoning that then provides direction for further investigation of the topic at hand.
If you would like a great set of task cards and a slide show for teaching students to write Claim-Evidence-Reasoning, I have a great set for you! My task cards for Claim Evidence and Reasoning start with a slide show and some follow-up pages. This is followed by a set of 8 task cards. Students look at the information and write a CER to go with it. The task cards come in blackline and color. Answer keys are included.
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